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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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PATERNITY:Re S (Declaration of Parentage) [2012] EWCA Civ 1160
Date:31 AUG 2012
Law Reporter

(Court of Appeal, Pill, Rimer, Black LJJ, 23 August 2012)

The 9-year-old's parents were never married, the father's name was not on birth certificate but the child knew who his father was. The father was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the mother of a former partner. The father applied for contact and for a declaration of paternity under s 55 of the Family Law Act 1986.

The judge refused to make the declaration on the grounds that it was not in the child's nor the public interest. The father appealed.

Appeal allowed. The judge had conflated s 55A and s 58 of the Act and concentrated on the best interests of the child but had failed to give full weight to the public interest aspect.